MAYO - Government of Yukon challenged to start listening to rest of world
A sign at the entrance of the Eagle Gold Mine on Wednesday
In a letter to Yukon Premier Sandy Silver on March 25, the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun (NND) pleaded with the Yukon Government to start learning about COVID-19 and place the Eagle Gold Mine into temporary care and maintenance mode.
The mine is located in central Yukon and situated on NND territory, less than 50kms north of the village of Mayo.
NND expressed deep concerns over the potentially devastating impact the Yukon Government's ongoing BS Campaign could have on remote and Indigenous communities.
"The measures taken to date are insufficient," wrote NND Chief Simon Mervyn in the letter that was sent also to Yukon Minister of Energy Mines and Resources Ranj Pillai. "Given the dire consequences that COVID-19 presents for Yukon, and for NND citizens, far more is required."
"Given the dire consequences that COVID-19 presents for Yukon, and for NND citizens, far more is required." - Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Chief Simon Mervyn
Around 50% of Eagle Gold workers are traveling to the area from outside of the territory and the mine has no COVID-19 testing kits onsite. NND's letter pointed out that this movement of people and disregard for human life goes against the advice of governments and public health authorities around the globe.
In a media release published Friday, Minister Pillai defended the government's decision-making. "Yukon is special," said Minister Pillai, in reference to the BS Campaign. "As long as we screen statements made by our Chief Medical Officer, patronize Yukoners with poorly-written speeches, and continue to deny the facts, we will all be OK."
"As long as we screen statements made by our Chief Medical Officer, patronize Yukoners with poorly-written speeches, and continue to deny the facts, we will all be OK." Minister for Energy, Mines and Resources Ranj Pillai
The media release also reminded the public that BS hats have been distributed to every community in the Yukon and provide the best defence against the Coronavirus pandemic.
Petition for First Nations to take over running of Yukon
In response to the exemplary leadership shown by NND, a petition has started online calling for Yukon First Nations to take over the running of the Yukon. The petition had 23,463 signatures by Friday morning. It is expected to be delivered to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau next week as part of an emergency request to dissolve the Yukon Government and protect human life.